Isles take on Bruins in crucial division game after Boston’s week off.
The New York Islanders have gotten another winning streak started and look to extend it to three games as they take on the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
A fellow top team in the division, the Bruins have had the week off and saw two of their games be postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The Islanders would obviously have the advantage for multiple reasons.
The Bruins would surely be rusty after not having played in a week and eight of their players would be out of the lineup on Thursday.
Combined with the fact that the Islanders are one of the best teams in the league while the Bruins haven’t been as dominant as usual, there wouldn’t be much of a reason for the Islanders to drop this one.
Noah Dobson has been out after testing positive for COVID-19 and being placed on the protocol list. He was cleared earlier on Thursday, but wouldn’t be available for Thursday’s game. The lineup would remain the same with Semyon Varlamov in net.
1st period: It’s not what you want
A lack of discipline, slacking defensively, and not generating any offense resulted in the Islanders heading into the second down 2-0. The defense was uncharacteristically bad and careless and they couldn’t get anything going in the offensive zone.
They’d have to clean things up in their own zone, figure out how to get things going offensively, and stay disciplined in order to come back from this hole. Losing to a depleted team that hasn’t played in a week really isn’t ideal.
2nd period: Coming alive
The Islanders were outshot 12-13 in the second, but looked much better all around. They were defensively sound and were much better in Boston’s zone, so much so that they were able to score a goal to cut the deficit to one.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau continues to terrorize the Bruins, scoring his fifth goal against them this season. As well as the Islanders played this period, they’d still enter third on the losing end.
Would they be able to make a comeback against a defensively great Bruins team?
3rd period: Comeback SZN
This was quite the period. Josh Bailey came up with a huge goal to tie the game, marking quite the impressive comeback by the Islanders. Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy both had assists on the goal, contributing to their offensive hot streaks.
The Islanders then went on to impress even more, scoring another goal in the final three minutes to take the lead.
Oliver Wahlstrom scored another goal, showing off his scoring ability. The goal was assisted by Pageau and Anthony Beauvillier, who have been crucial to the team’s success especially lately.
Unfortunately, the Islanders would go on to concede the game-tying goal less than a minute later. However, the fact that they came back from 2-0 and were able to come away with at least a point is impressive and deserves praise.
Overtime: OT BEAU
Beauvillier put this one away quickly. “Mr. Overtime” did what he does best, capitalizing on the rebound of a Leddy shot to score the game-winning goal, a no-doubter. Beauvillier has now scored four of the Islanders’ last five overtime winners.
Islanders fans would’ve preferred their team to have put this game to bed in regulation, but even the best of the best struggle against what’s deemed to be inferior competition. It ends up coming down to how the team responds.
The Islanders didn’t have it to start the game, but didn’t give up and got it together to come back and eventually get the win. They remain undefeated against the Bruins this season.
Key Moment: The GWG
Beauvillier’s overtime game-winner was the key moment.
It epitomized this comeback and the drive and determination that the team displayed throughout the final 40 minutes, in particular, and sent the Islanders home with two big points against a fellow top-four team in the division.
The goal was assisted by Leddy and Pageau, both of whom have been significant contributors to the the team’s overall success this season, and was scored by Beauvillier, who’s getting hot at the right time and can become one of the team’s x-factors moving forward.
Player of the game: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Not much of a surprise here. Pageau got it done up and down the ice for the Islanders in this one, a game they likely wouldn’t have won without him.
He was solid defensively and offensively fantastic. The depth and talent that Pageau brings to the team’s special teams and bottom six is invaluable.
Pageau’s numbers: 18:42 TOI, 1 G, 2 A, 56.67 CF%, 0.31 iXG, 0.53 xGF, 0.15 xGA, 2.07 GF, 0.96 GA, 3.64 Game Score, 0.46 defensive rating, 0.96 offensive rating, and 2.17 individual rating.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.